Public Diary: Is It a Good Idea?

'Secret Book #1' by Randy Cox, Flickr

Seh Hui Leong


This morning I finally took out my old LiveJournal backups and have them restored over to this site: that’s after a few months since I took the site down. That has always been the plan as I decided to consolidate my personal blog and website into one. But what really happened is that as soon as I took down the site on LiveJournal: I suddenly doubt whether I should keep them in online circulation.

At that time it suddenly dawned upon me on why I felt that way: The older post are more close to a nature to a personal diary; and despite the fact that I had no qualms making it public at the time of writing it, once I have taken those posts down, they are effectively private until I posted them up. And having that gap in between it being private to becoming public again had triggered some fear within myself as I start to recall what content I had written before. Despite the general positive and contemplative tone, there are also entries which are more personal and emotional in nature.

In a sense, what I fear is that parts that exposes my weakness and the ugly side of myself: thinking how those posts would reflect and/or affect me. At that brief lapse of time, I’m starting to question whether such diary-like blogs should even be public or not. And not to mention I’d adapted a more defensive style of writing in my later blog posts which shows a gradual disparity between my old self with my current self.

But, as you have witnessed, I posted them up anyway.

If you asked what had transpired me to go ahead with making it public, probably it’d be the following:

  • There’s a lot of content that I believe is worth sharing
  • I trust myself: I know that I’d always taken great care in writing all my posts and did not do any harm towards others knowingly
  • There’s no point concealing parts that I don’t like about myself: I treasure my ability to express myself and I won’t be able to show just the good parts without trying deliberately to a point of faking
  • Last but not least… in reality, nobody really cares 😊

Having decided that, do I still think a public-viewable blog that acts as a personal diary a good idea? I wished I knew the answer: after all, my blog has always been experimental in nature — giving myself an opportunity to see how my writing would affect the social circles around me. And so far I have gained some insights through the discussions I had in the comments and had worked out my social behaviour in accordance to the subtle feedback I get from the real-life interactions of friends who read the blog.

But if there’s anything I have learned from my blogging journey, my take is that we have to treat blogging in the same way that we treat any interactions with people: always have considerations towards the person you are talking to and any person that you’re talking about, at the same time just being yourself and have fun in the process. Otherwise life would be just be too hard to live.

Written by

Seh Hui Leong

Python programmer by trade, interested in a broad range of creative fields: illustrating, game design, writing, choreography and most recently building physical things. Described by a friend as a modern renaissance man.